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Wanted: the Outlaws!

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Essay 4, Final Draft
WRC 1013, 2:00 class
11/30/10
Word Count: 1,600

Wanted: The Outlaws!
Country stars such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, and Roy Acuff back in the day were supposed to look professional, they were clean-shaven and they had short-hair. That’s the way it was for the most part of Country’s existence. Outlaws like Waylon, Willie, and David Allan Coe had long, shaggy hair, they had beards, and they didn’t want people telling how to play their own songs. The songs of the old-timers were more gospel and love songs than their Outlaw counterparts. Country’s sound for the most part was family-orientated; the songs weren’t about drinking, smoking, or going to prison. Unlike, David Allan Coe’s song, “You never even call me by my name,” which states the perfect Country-Western song includes “Momma, trains, trucks, prison, and getting drunk.” With their long hair, beards, and no care attitude, Outlaws in Country changed the image of the Country star. Before the Outlaw Movement, but after the “Singing Cowboy,” there was a form of Country Music that made it big in the 1950’s; Nashville Country. Nashville Country is what you hear more of nowadays with stars such as Taylor Swift and others, it’s Pop Country. An upbeat, dancing tune with no blues or heavy sounding tunes. Even though he wasn’t considered Country, Elvis Presley’s song “Don’t Be Cruel,” recorded in July 1956, is said to have been a huge spark for the Nashville Sound. However, in the 1960’s, in Bakersfield, California, a more traditional sound was developing, it was called, “Bakersfield Country.” According, to Jason Schneider the writer of the article Merle Haggard: The Last Outlaw; Bakersfield Country is a, “twangy, hard-edged style of country that contains more elements of rock and roll than Nashville will allow” (Schneider). The main stars of the Bakersfield sound were Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard (the man) and the Strangers. People liked this form of Country, because...

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